Sunday, September 08, 2013

Sunday morning paint

Once upon a time, there was a painter of Scottish descent named McDermott who stretched each penny as far as it would go --- and thinned his paint to make it go farther, too.

And so it came to pass, in the fall of 1948, that St. Olaf Lutheran Church, somewhere in the neighborhood of Decorah, began to peel --- and a call went out for bids.

McDermott proposed, and his bid was accepted --- because it was so low. Despite the fact he was not Norwegian, nor Lutheran, and in fact, Presbyterian.

McDermott set up his scaffolding, added planks, bought the paint and, yes, watered it down. "Water" at that time involved turpentine, since the paint was oil-based.

The job was going well, and McDermott had advanced to the steeple, climbing high above the prairie, admiring the view.

When suddenly the the sky opened, rain poured down --- and the thinned paint washed entirely away from the walls of the building.

Then there was a mighty flash of lightning, a tremendous clap of thunder, a great clanging of the bell --- and McDermott went flying, but landed --- to his gratification --- on his back, but intact, in a haystack just over the church yard fence..

McDermott knew this was judgment from the Almighty.

He climbed down, fell to his knees and cried: "My, God, my God, forgive me; what should I do?"

From the angry skies, a mighty voice answered: 

"Repaint! Repaint! And thin no more!"

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